Spiders are considered year-round pests, but they seem to come out in full force during the summer months. Some common spiders you may encounter this summer include wolf spiders, orb weavers, garden spiders, house spiders, brown recluse spiders, and black widow spiders. While most of these are harmless, brown recluses and black widows can be dangerous to humans with their venomous bites.
The spiders you see in the summer most likely aren’t just now making their way into your home; there’s a good chance they’ve already been hiding out inside for a while. They will commonly emerge in large numbers in the summer for two main reasons:
- It’s mating season for male spiders
- It’s peak season for most of their food sources (mosquitoes, flies, ants)
Seeing a spider here and there inside your home is usually nothing to worry about; they can sneak in through open windows, doors, etc. Seeing them in large numbers, however, can indicate a much bigger problem. Spider infestations can be the result of:
- Weather. Summer weather is ideal for spiders with warm temperatures, adequate shelter, etc. If the weather gets too hot, spiders will seek relief, often inside your home. The same thing applies if the summer is overly dry or overly wet. Your home provides the perfect place to hide out until conditions outdoors improve.
- Food. If food sources outdoors become scarce (due to weather or consistent pest control around your home), spiders may make their way indoors on their search for nutrition. Conversely, if you have an infestation of other household pests that spiders like to eat, they will also come inside to take advantage of the all-you-can-eat buffet.
- Water. Spiders must have water to survive. If outdoor water sources dry up (due to drought, etc.), they will go in search of hydration indoors.
Having a spider infestation in your home can leave you with webs everywhere, the risk of spider bites that can be painful and potentially dangerous, and the possibility of other pest infestations, as well. You can keep spiders out by:
- Eliminating Entry Points. Spiders can access your home through the smallest cracks and crevices. Use weatherstripping around doors and windows and make sure it is kept in good repair. Caulk or seal any gaps, holes, and openings. Use screens on doors and windows and make sure they stay in good repair, as well.
- Eliminating Hiding Places. Spiders prefer dark, undisturbed places to hide out (corners, cabinets, closets, storage containers, piles of paper or cardboard, and cluttered areas). Declutter your home and get rid of any old papers, magazines, newspapers, and boxes. Shake out anything you haven’t used in a while before using it. Vacuum and dust regularly, especially rooms and areas that you don’t use often. Outside, trim overgrown bushes, hedges, and trees. Keep grass mowed short and mow regularly. Get rid of trash and debris in your yard that spiders can use for shelter. Store firewood and lumber away from your home.
- Eliminating Food Sources. Spiders eat other pests. Maintain routine pest control in and around your home with a professional pest control company. Eliminating other pests mean spiders will look for food elsewhere.
If you have a problem with spiders, contact your local pest control company for a thorough inspection and treatment plan.
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Although spiders are considered a year-round pest, they become more visible and active in the spring. Overwintering pests like spiders emerge as the weather warms up to lay eggs for the approaching season. Spiders are predators, preying on smaller insects for food. They are usually not a huge threat to humans with only a few venomous species in our area. In fact, they can be quite beneficial to have around your home, working as a form of natural pest control by eating other insects you may have around.
If the thought of sharing your home with spiders creeps you out, don’t fret! Here are some spider prevention tips you can use this spring to help keep these pests out.
- Keep your outdoor lights off at night. Many bugs are attracted to light at night, providing a feast for spiders who are hanging around.
- Keep vegetation trimmed and your lawn mowed. Overgrown bushes, grass, and other debris give spiders the ideal place to hide.
- Don’t stack wood or install mulch to close to the sides of your home. Spiders will not only hide out in these places but will also use them as a bridge to crawl into your house.
- Make sure trees, shrubs, and other landscaping aren’t touching your home. Spiders will also use these to get indoors.
- Clean up food and crumbs immediately, both indoors and outdoors.
- Get rid of stacks of old newspapers, magazines, etc.
- Dust frequently and vacuum weekly.
- Make sure windows and door screens are intact. Spiders will use holes and tears to get inside.
- Get rid of cobwebs both indoors and outdoors. Spiders will use these to store food once they catch their prey.
- Apply diatomaceous earth to your yard. This is a nontoxic option for outdoor pest control that is harmless to humans.
- Consider natural remedies to prevent spiders. Some common methods include the use of mint, citrus, and vinegar.
- Contact a professional. Spiders can be difficult to get rid of on your own. A professional pest control company can help identify the type of spider you are dealing with; where they may be hiding, nesting, or getting inside; and the most effective way to treat them in your home.
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When we see a spider, many of us will run away or immediately call the local pest control company to remove them! Certainly spiders are not the most popular of pests, but some are beneficial to us. While we can agree that we don’t want these pests inside our home, it’s important to know the impact they can have on our environment. Here are some spiders that are actually beneficial to have around!
Light to dark brown in color, these spiders are often mistaken for the brown recluse spider. The difference, however, is that the crevice spider does not have the signature violin shape marking that the brown recluse has. These spiders can be found in corners and crevices (where they get their name), especially in areas like ceiling corners, baseboards, and window frames. While these spiders are not venomous, they will bite if they feel threatened. This is very rare, though. The crevice spider is beneficial to humans as they will typically eat common household pests like flies, roaches, beetles, and wasps. This spider can be considered a “free” exterminator!
Yellow Garden Spider
The yellow garden spider likes to be outdoors in sunny areas. They will spin large circular webs and anchor them to plants. Females are black with bright yellow patches on their abdomens while the males are much smaller with less yellow on their abdomen. These spiders don’t pose a threat to humans; they do, however, produce venom that is harmless to humans. The venom they produce helps them to immobilize prey such as flies, bees, and other flying insects. These spiders are perfect for helping keep these flying pest populations from getting into your home!
Like a plant leaf, this spider has bright green coloring and can sometimes have orange and black dots on their legs. The lynx spider is known for its quick movements, often jumping large distances to capture their prey. These spiders are found in open fields, especially those with tall grass. While they bite only for defensive purposes, they don’t pose a threat to humans. These spiders are extremely useful in agricultural management as they will eat crop-destroying pests like nectarine insects, helping protect crops from destruction.
While it’s nice to have some helpful spiders outside of the house, that doesn’t mean we want them on the inside. If you notice one of these spiders frequenting your home, reach out to your local pest control company who can safely eliminate them and recommend a prevention plan.